Saratoga is primarily a residential community where the economic values of properties are closely tied to the rural attractiveness of the city, much of which is attributable to the trees. The intent of the City's Tree Regulations is to provide a sustainable urban forest and to balance the rights of property owners with basic standards for the maintenance, removal and replacement of trees.
Permits are needed before the removal of a tree protected by City Code, or pruning that is not consistent with International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) pruning guidelines. Tree preservation plans are needed before any construction work is performed under protected trees.
All trees are protected if they have a trunk diameter of 10 inches or larger (31 inches in circumference measured 4.5 feet above the ground). Additionally, native trees listed below with a diameter of 6 inches or more (or 19 inch circumference or more measured at 4.5 feet above ground). Protected native trees include:
- Big Leaf Maple
- Black Oak
- Blue Oak
- CA Buckeye
- Coast Redwood
- Coast Live Oak
- Douglas Fir
- Scrub Oak
- Tan Oak
- Valley Oak
- Saratoga (Oak) Tree Protection and Care Handbook (PDF) - how to protect and maintain oaks
- Watering Trees in Drought (PDF)
- Cal Poly Selectree - information and photos of trees
- Trees are Good - Tree care information and tree company referrals
- University of California Cooperative Extension - Santa Clara County
- Home and Garden Pests
- Sudden Oak Death
Heritage Trees are outstanding specimens with historic significance or value to Saratoga's heritage. These trees are recommended by the Heritage Preservation Commission and designated by the City Council. View more information about Saratoga’s Heritage Trees and find out how to nominate a tree.